Amended in Senate July 7, 2015

Amended in Assembly March 26, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 959


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta, Eggman, Gordon, and Low)

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(Coauthors: Senators Hall and Pan)

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February 26, 2015


An actbegin insert toend insert add Section 8310.8 to the Government Code, relating to data collection.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 959, as amended, Chiu. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Disparities Reduction Act.

(1) Existing law requires a state agency, board, or commission that directly or by contract collects demographic data as to the ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians to use separate collection categories and tabulations for each major Asian and Pacific Islander groups, as specified.

This bill would require 4 specific state departments, in the course of collecting demographic data directly or by contract as to the ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians, to collect voluntary self-identification information pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. This bill would require these state departments to report, during the regular process of reporting of demographic data, the collected data and method used to collect the data annually to the Legislature. This bill would further require these state departments to make the data available to the public in accordance with state and federal law, except for personal identifying information, which shall be deemed confidential and prohibited from disclosure.begin insert This bill would limit the use of the collected data, as specified.end insert This bill would require these state departments to comply with these provisions as early as possible, but no later than July 1, 2017. This bill would make legislative findings and declarations relating to this act.

(2) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.

This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) It is the goal of state government, in collecting demographic
4data, to gather accurate information in order to understand,
5compare, report, and apply that data to the enhancement and
6improvement of public services.

7(b) Currently, the state does not consistently collect demographic
8data related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

9(c) The limited data available for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
10and Transgender (LGBT) communities includes all of the
11following:

12(1) According to a University of California, Los Angeles, study
13from the Williams Institute, nearly one in five children being raised
14by same-sex couples (approximately 24 percent) live in poverty
15compared to 14 percent of children being raised by different-sex
16couples.

17(2) Data from a 2013 Williams Institute report on patterns of
18poverty of LGBT communities shows that one-third of lesbian
19couples and 20.1 percent of gay male couples without a high school
20diploma are in poverty, compared to 18.8 percent of different-sex
21married couples. The report further showed African American
22same-sex couples have poverty rates more than twice the rate of
23different-sex married Africanbegin delete Americansend deletebegin insert Americanend insert couples and
P3    1there are high levels of poverty in bisexual individuals in California
2reaching approximately 25 percent of bisexual people compared
3to 17 percent for heterosexual people.

4(3) According to the California Department of Justice, in 2013,
5hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias motivation were the
6second most common type of hate crime, comprising 25 percent
7of all hate crimes.

8(4) Various studies, including those by the United States
9Department of Health and Human Services and the Institute of
10Medicine, found that health disparities impacting lesbian, gay,
11bisexual, and transgender include higher risks for cancer, mental
12illness, and other diseases, as well as higher rates of smoking and
13substance abuse.

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14(5) Research and report a for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual
15Transgender Queer and Questioning Reducing Disparities Project
16found that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and
17Questioning (LGBTQ) patients statewide reported primary care
18physicians, nurse practitioners, and dentists among the top six most
19dismissive providers.

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20(5) Research from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,
21Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Reducing Disparities Project
22found that LGBTQ respondents statewide reported troublesome
23experiences with service providers in regard to how accepting or
24rejecting service providers have been of their sexual orientation
25and gender identity/expression. Further, LGBTQ respondents
26reported difficulty finding providers knowledgeable and accepting
27of sexual orientation and gender identity concerns.

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28(d) Due to historical systemic exclusion of data collection of
29LGBT communities, significant disparities in their health and
30welfare have been prolonged compared to the broader community.
31LGBT communities face disproportionately high rates of poverty,
32suicide, homelessness, isolation, substance abuse, and violence,
33and low rates of health insurance. These problems are more
34prevalent for youth and seniors, communities of color, and bisexual
35and transgender and undocumented communities.

36(e) It is in the best interests of the state to respect, embrace, and
37understand the full diversity of its residents and to collect accurate
38data to effectively implement and deliver critical state services
39and programs.

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P4    1(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the state departments
2specified in Section 8310.8 of the Government Code, as added by
3Section 2 of this act, utilize existing work and research, including,
4but not limited to, referencing research on promising and
5community-defined practices and stakeholders when developing
6questions to collect voluntary self-identified information pertaining
7to sexual orientation and gender identity.

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8

SEC. 2.  

Section 8310.8 is added to the Government Code, to
9read:

10

8310.8.  

(a) (1) This section shall only apply to the following
11state departments:

12(A) The State Department of Health Care Services.

13(B) The State Department of Public Health.

14(C) The State Department of Social Services.

15(D) The California Department of Aging.

16(2) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Lesbian,
17Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Disparities Reduction Act.

18(b) In addition to the duties imposed by Section 8310.5, the
19state departments identified in subdivision (a), in the course of
20collecting demographic data directly or by contract as to the
21ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians, shall collect voluntary
22self-identification information pertaining to sexual orientation and
23gender identity.

24(c) During the regular process of reporting of demographic data
25to the Legislature, the state departments identified in subdivision
26(a) shall report the data collected pursuant to this section and the
27method used to collect that data, and make the data available to
28the public in accordance with state and federal law, except for
29personal identifying information, which shall be deemed
30confidential and shall not be disclosed.begin insert The state departments
31identified in subdivision (a) may use information voluntarily
32provided about sexual orientation and gender identity only for
33demographic analysis, coordination of care, quality improvement
34of its services, conducting approved research, fulfilling reporting
35requirements, and guiding policy or funding decisions. All
36information about sexual orientation and gender identity collected
37pursuant to this section shall be used only for purposes specified
38in this section.end insert

P5    1(d) The state departments identified in subdivision (a) shall
2comply with the requirements of this section as early as possible,
3but no later than July 1, 2017.

4

SEC. 3.  

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 2 of
5this act, which adds Section 8310.8 to the Government Code,
6imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings
7of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies
8within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California
9Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the
10Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest
11protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:

12Due to the sensitive general nature of data relating to sexual
13orientation and gender identity and the need to protect the safety
14of thosebegin insert whoend insert would provide voluntary self-identification
15information pertaining to their sexual orientation and gender
16identity, it is necessary to prohibit the public disclosure ofbegin insert personal
17identifying information that would allow the identification of an
18individual who providedend insert
voluntary self-identification information
19pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity.



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